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Terraforming Mars» Forums » Rules

Subject: Ecoline corporation in the non-corporate game rss

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Matthew Murbach
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On the card, the Ecoline corporation starts with 2 plant production. What if you are playing the non-corporate game, in which you already start with 1 plant production? Would the card add 2, or would it still remain 2, which means the corporation is significantly less powerful in the non-corporate game, giving you only one more plant production while getting half the value in money and cards of the beginner corporation? I argued for the former, but everyone else at the table insisted on the latter. The guy who played it in a 4 player game finished significantly behind two of us.
 
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Jeff Thornsen
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It adds 2 to your starting production. So if you play without the corporate era cards, the Ecoline corporation start with a production of 3 plants and 1 of everything else.
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Sebastian Stückl
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mmurbach wrote:
On the card, the Ecoline corporation starts with 2 plant production. What if you are playing the non-corporate game, in which you already start with 1 plant production? Would the card add 2, or would it still remain 2, which means the corporation is significantly less powerful in the non-corporate game, giving you only one more plant production while getting half the value in money and cards of the beginner corporation? I argued for the former, but everyone else at the table insisted on the latter. The guy who played it in a 4 player game finished significantly behind two of us.


You add 2 extra plant production for Ecoline, so in the "standard" game you start with a total of 3.
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Örjan Almén
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yeah, just treat it as any card played with those icons
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Jonathan Franklin
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Just as a caveat for those who feel this is too strong, most of the take that cards affect the greenery strategy, so the Ecoline player ends up getting hit disproportionately.
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Jon Ben
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grandslam wrote:
Just as a caveat for those who feel this is too strong, most of the take that cards affect the greenery strategy, so the Ecoline player ends up getting hit disproportionately.


In light of this, is it too weak?
 
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Sam Carroll
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Nope. Attacking Ecoline's plants and plant production only serves to level the playing field.
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Jon Ben
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spartax wrote:
Nope. Attacking Ecoline's plants and plant production only serves to level the playing field.


I don't have the bits in front of me and haven't looked through all the corps so maybe you can help me see the truth of this. Other corps are given things that cannot be taken away by other players. Some of Ecoline's benefits can be taken away and likely will be. What else is on Ecoline's card to compensate for this?
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Most of the cards take cubes, not cube production, so if you get hit hard, you will lose maybe 1.5 greenery tiles (let's say -6 + -4)

Also, if you play it right, you will never have that many cubes sitting around unused, so they won't even be able to hit Ecoline for the max. That is the greatness of the 1 OR 2 actions. Get greenery cubes from production, play a card, put down a greenery tile - now they have nothing or little to take from you.
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Sebastian Stückl
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JonBen wrote:
spartax wrote:
Nope. Attacking Ecoline's plants and plant production only serves to level the playing field.


I don't have the bits in front of me and haven't looked through all the corps so maybe you can help me see the truth of this. Other corps are given things that cannot be taken away by other players. Some of Ecoline's benefits can be taken away and likely will be. What else is on Ecoline's card to compensate for this?


What else? It doesn't need anything else.
Ecoline already starts with plants worth about 10 M€, and plant production worth ~6,5 M€ each turn...
In a 10 Generation game, the plants are worth a total of 69 M€ (3 greeneries), which is much better than any other corporation if you add the 36 from the start. (So 105 M€ total)

In addition to that, all your plant production cards become better as well.

Of course Ecoline becomes worse the more players there are, since you play fewer generations, and get hit by opposing cards more often, and that may be a factor for balancing the corporation.


grandslam wrote:
Most of the cards take cubes, not cube production, so if you get hit hard, you will lose maybe 1.5 greenery tiles (let's say -6 + -4)

Also, if you play it right, you will never have that many cubes sitting around unused, so they won't even be able to hit Ecoline for the max. That is the greatness of the 1 OR 2 actions. Get greenery cubes from production, play a card, put down a greenery tile - now they have nothing or little to take from you.


That only works if you happen to be the starting player, AND you dont have to do any mandatory (double) actions, like claiming a milestone.
So there's certainly enough room to destroy Ecoline's plants.


As I said, I think Ecoline is mostly powerful with fewer players (2-3), and should be much worse when playing with 4-5.
The drafting variant probably hurts Ecoline further, since more meteorites etc. are seen, and Ecoline has less use for those, plus it will be hit more often by them than other players.
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Jon Ben
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Thanks for the analysis guys that's exactly what I was looking for.

Sebastian do you think the other corporations are as sensitive to the number of players?
 
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Sebastian Stückl
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JonBen wrote:
Thanks for the analysis guys that's exactly what I was looking for.

Sebastian do you think the other corporations are as sensitive to the number of players?



Logically, all corporations become weaker with more players, but the ones that start with some form of production should generally be affected more by the higher player number, as they miss out on production phases
Ecoline just happens to have the highest base production, so this effect hits it more than other corporations.
The other corporations with base production are(in no order):
_ Thorgate
- Saturn Systems
- Helion
- Tharsis Republic
- UNMI
- Mining Guild

In contrast, these corporations only have starting resources, but no production:
- Credicor
- Teractor
- Hollywood
- Inventrix
- Phobolog


That said, the conclusion - that corporations with a starting production become weaker(relative to others) when you add players, and other corporations become stronger - is actually incorrect, as some corporations without production may be affected more by the increase in player number than some with production, because their ability indirectly cares about the number of generations played.


For that matter, the clear winners with more players are:
- Interplanetary Cinematics (probably)
- Teractor
- Credicor
- Phobolog

None of their abilities really scales with the number of generations played, and while their rebates come up more often with more generations, this is true for all secondary abilities, so they shouldnt lose out compared to others. (= their win% goes up with more players)

In this context, it's noteworthy that Interplanetary Cinematics has to find buildings, which are usually factories etc. which increase your production, so it may not actually get much better with more players. (Though I consider this unlikely)


As for corporations that get worse with more players, I suspect Mining Guild and Saturn Systems get a lot worse as well.
- Mining Guild:
Most likely, you'd try to collect a few placement bonuses with this corporation, but the increase in steel production is sooo much less relevant when you play fewer generations, not just because you get less steel, but also because most steel buildings get worse as the end of the game is reached. The only thing to offset this may be the miner award, which the Mining Guild should be able to get easily, even with more opponents.
In a 4 or 5 player game, awards and milestones become even more important, so this may help cover the lost production.
- Saturn Systems:
Now, this one is HUGE. Not just do you have a production of up to 4 M€ to begin with, the Jovian tag strategy also requires a lot of setup (mostly titanium production), and only becomes good if you play many tags so you can profit from the Jovian tag multipliers.
With more players, you are also unable to control the flow of the game, trying to delay the game end by improving your economy and skipping all this terraforming nonsense (I really just want to mine space asteroids! shake).
Obviously, you don't have to go for the Jovian tag strategy (and you probably shouldn't if you play with 5 players), but taking away your options, especially one that is an integral part of your company, can't be good for your win rate.
And, as mentioned before, because of the high base income (4 M€) you will still be affected a lot, even without a Jovian tag strategy.
As a side note, if you are drafting, the sweet spot for Saturn Systems is probably 3, because the increased chance of seeing Jovian tags will *probably* offset the extra player.


Now, of course this is mostly theory.
I dont have any win rate statistics available for Terraforming Mars, and there can be some factors I missed.
I wouldn't want to judge the other corporations, it seems difficult to guess how they are affected by player count.


I feel a bit like creating a stat collection thread now, so we can figure out the win rates for the different companies...



Sebastian,
CEO of Saturn Systems (perhaps, or not.)
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